announcements, crafting, Emmyelle

New, But Also Old: The Celeste Cloche

With this new Emmyelle pattern, I’m going back to the beginning (Isabel knows what I’m talking about). Presenting Celeste: a quick, little, lacy, Art-Deco inspired cloche hat.

Emmyelle Celeste Cloche (green)

This charming little cloche not only hearkens back to the 1920s with its classic bell shape, but with an Art Deco-esque lace as well. It’s designed with considerable negative ease for a snug fit (so of course it’ll stay put whilst sneaking into speakeasies and/or dancing the Charleston) and to open up the lace. Knit it up in muted, neutral tones for an era-appropriate look, or in a bright, vivid color for a retrofuturist approach. Instructions are also given for stripes along each pattern repeat, so you don’t have to decide on just one color!

Emmyelle Celeste Cloche Striped (white & green)

While there are only two sizes given, the pattern can easily be adapted; for a looser fit, just cast on another 10 stitches (or 20! Whatever you need) as each pattern repeat creates approximately 1.25” of width. Keep in mind however that since there is no ribbing, the lace is what maintains the elasticity. Choosing a yarn with natural elasticity and memory will also help. Juniper Moon Farm’s Moonshine yarn was the perfect choice not only because of its name, but because of its fiber content: wool keeps it stretchy, alpaca provides a silent-film, soft-focus halo, and silk adds that little taste of glamour and opulence.

Celeste knits up fast, so you can make one for yourself and maybe even a few friends as holiday gifts!

To celebrate this being my first Small Business Saturday, from now until the end of Monday, December 1st at 11:59PM PST, you can get a total of 10% off this pattern and/or the Sirena snood with the code TINYSHOP10. The code will work in both Etsy and Ravelry, so go where you feel most at home.


Sunday Sounds: Copeland, “Erase”

It’s always gonna be music that brings me back.

A few years ago, one of my favorite bands, Copeland announced they were no longer going to make music together. Although there have been many amazing groups from my teenage years that have called it quits (Acceptance and Northstar quickly come to mind) this particular disbanding stung just a little bit more than the others because of the album that they had just released, You Are My Sunshine. The fall of 2008 into the spring of 2009 was rife with changes and overall just a tough year, but that album helped me get through it. To this day I still go to that aching emotional place any time I hear “The Day I Lost My Voice (The Suitcase Song).” Then again, even without the personal history, I’m sure that song could break me down.

Fast forward to spring of this year: Copeland announced they were reuniting to create a new album called Ixora. There was nothing that could keep me from getting my hands on it. My fervor was rewarded and those of us that pre-ordered were given a digital copy last weekend.

Ixora is a masterpiece. Solid and coherent, it’s ethereal, atmospheric, and irresistible with its sincerity. While the album is stunning as a whole, each song stands on its own, all while maintaining a thread throughout.

“Erase” in particular deftly illustrates the range of the album. Falling in after the comparatively confident “I Can Make You Feel Young Again”, which radiates certainty and assurance throughout, “Erase” is more finely drawn in its intention. Lyrically, it’s subtle song, keen in its imagery, slowly building one idea upon the next, suffusing the listener with its portrait of nearly ineffable, unrelenting connections. There’s a poignant push and pull between nostalgia and frustration with a hint of acceptance.

The music acutely complements the lyrics. “Erase” begins simply, with only vocalist Aaron Marsh and a piano gently lulling you into the song, patiently allowing the lyrics to sink in. Soon, guitars follow as the language slowly moves from the metaphoric to the emotionally specific. Then, the strings sweep in, elevating the sincerity and intensity. Finally, as the bittersweetness of the lyrics become more evident, with Marsh singing “You’re still a breeze upon my skin / close my eyes, breathe you in. / I’m still the shadows in your night, / taking over, until I fade into your light,” the drums and bass complete the picture and heighten the aggression.

It’s the final verse that cuts the deepest though. It’s layer upon musical layer with Marsh allowing his signature falsetto to blend with it– it’s just one element to emphasize the haze. That is, until the final line shines brightly, “I can’t help this awful feeling / that I can’t erase you.” It’s a short line, but an important one, reversing the influence from narrator to subject. A short instrumental breakdown follows before the song ends on an elegantly slow swell of strings. It leaves you still reeling from the admission that you can never know how much others will affect us and how little we can control it.

I am patiently (but excitedly!) awaiting my physical copy, but for those who missed out on the pre-orders from their official website, Ixora is set to release on iTunes tomorrow, but since I’m posting this late PST, it’s probably already up. Buy it now!

Copeland has a handful of shows between now and February, so if you’re somewhere in the South/South Atlantic, go!

announcements, crafting, Emmyelle


Sirena knitting pattern Emmyelle

After a few months of working and worrying– not to mention the years of wondering– I’m finally starting an online shop, Emmyelle! Now, if you’ve met me, you’re probably well aware of my anxious and neurotic ways so this was no easy feat, but in all honesty, it was an easy decision. So many ideas were bubbling around in my brain and it was time they were finally made manifest.

The first item available is a knitting pattern*, my ode to summer, Sirena. This is a lacy little thing that gets its name not from the effect it can have on sailors (or does it?), but from the Milanese Lace stitch that evokes geometric wave patterns. Short and sweet, it’s easy to knit up and even easier to wear, making it perfect for those breezy days at the beach or any time you need just a little protection from the elements.

The name is also a nod to my love of The Little Mermaid, because the fandom part of my brain my heart my soul is always at work, as you can see by my Weasley Weather Bottle shirt.

The name is also a nod to my love of The Little Mermaid, because the fandom part of my brain my heart my soul is always at work, as you can see by my Weasley Weather Bottle shirt.

Sirena as a Seaside Scarf

Sea Sirena

Sea Sirena Folded

Using the Provisional Cast-On method, Sirena begins from one side and is worked towards the other, with the ends grafted together using the kitchener stitch for a seamless look. Because of this, the final length of the piece is determined by the cast-on stitches, while the final circumference is determined by the rows worked.

Despite the lace and the cast-on method (a link to detailed instructions is provided within the pattern), one only needs to know the following stitches: knit/knit 2 together, purl/purl 2 together, and yarn-over. That’s it!

Sirena as a Sunset Scarf

Sunset Sirena

Sunset Sirena Folded

I’ve knitted these two samples up in differing weights and fibers to illustrate the versatility of the pattern. The turquoise sample is Wool and the Gang’s Shiny Happy Cotton in “Magic Mint” (which was recently restocked!), while the orange sample is Knit Picks’ Shadow Lace, a 100% Merino Wool yarn, in the beautiful, but unfortunately now discontinued “Queen Anne Tonal” colorway.

Sirena is available to purchase for only $5 USD over at Ravelry, (you don’t have to be a member to make purchases) as well as Etsy! Both sites have the pattern available for instant download, so no need to wait to cast on!

* If you’re interested in a physical product, please let me know! I’ve been considering making a worsted weight option available for sale, but given that there are so many factors to look into (fiber options, colors, costs of production and shipping, the list goes on!) I wanted to know if enough people are interested before heading down that road.

anime, miscellany

Admired, Inspired. 7.9.14

  • Crispin Freeman, one of my favorite [voice] actors, discusses the Myth of the Hero as it relates to the female, a topic we all know fascinates me. One of these days I really hope to attend one of his Mythology and Meaning panels.

    “As much as I love Joe Campbell, he does give short shrift to the female hero journey, and it’s very frustrating to me, so that’s part of why I developed my third anime mythology presentation, which is called ‘Mystics, Priestesses and Warrior Women.’ Traditionally, male hero journeys were more prominent because in traditional hunter-gatherer societies, a boy doesn’t become a man until he’s physically initiated… In those same traditional societies, a girl becomes a woman when she starts menstruating. When she starts menstruating, they put her in a hut and have her think about the fact she’s menstruating. Well, that might have worked back in hunter-gatherer times, but that doesn’t work now. That’s not enough to help girls now become self-actualized women. It’s vital we have female hero journeys—not just for girls, for boys, too. Boys and men need to understand the challenges women face as they go through their lives, and if men don’t, they’re doomed to perpetuate ridiculous chauvinism. It’s my personal flag I like to fly, because it’s about damn time that girls have more choices.”

  • Finally, the newest Geek & Sundry channel Player Piano is making me swoon! They’ve captured the eerie atmosphere and cyberpunk aesthetic of Akira so well. Can we talk about how badass that piano is too?
anime, announcements, television

In the Name of the Moon

Today is a special day. Not only is it Glass Lens, Gold Key‘s third birthday and my thirteenth blogging anniversary, but it’s also the premiere date of Sailor Moon Crystal!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act One Usagi

I couldn’t ask for a more serendipitous event. My veery first foray into “graphic design” was editing Sailor Moon images in Microsoft Photo Editor and my first “web page” (hosted on Geocities, of course) utilized those bordered backgrounds that had a character graphic on the left side that took up around 25%, while the remainder was a plain texture. Those were the days of 640×480 resolution and seeing those babies scroll was impressive! Honest! Also, those who’ve known me for a while and knew about my blogging at the time may remember my old moniker; I can’t deny that the… celestial aspect of the original series influenced that choice.

However, nostalgia for bad graphics and antiquated web trends doesn’t explain why I woke up at 3AM this morning to watch the new anime. The reason I easily jumped out of bed was because Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon is an enchanting story about heroism, love, and sacrifice, steeped in Classical Mythology, and of course, dressed to the nines. Let’s not forget the fact that it has a full cast of female protagonists, each with their own distinct personalities and ethics.

And that’s just scratching the surface. The Sailor Moon universe (no pun intended) is vast and deserves more than my primer, so let Sailor Moon Crystal be that introduction.

If you haven’t already watched it, the first episode can be seen at Hulu, NicoNico, Crunchy Roll, and Neon Alley!

Tsuki ni kawatte, oshioki yo!